All Fifty States Club

Member Spotlight – Ilene

September 15, 2023


Congratulations to Ilene who completed all 50 just a few days before she turned 90! We are proud to add her to our Record Holders list as one of the oldest at the time of completion.

As shared by her good friend Fonda Christopher -

First State - Missouri born

Last State - North Dakota #50,  South Dakota #49

Favorite States or Places - She loved traveling to our National Parks - particularly Yellowstone, Glacier, and Yosemite and enjoyed being able to take her children there.

Early travel memories -

1- When she was 10 or 11, she and her mother flew to Rochester, MN so she could be seen at the Mayo Clinic for scoliosis.  Ilene said what was most exciting about the trip was “I was the first one of my friends to fly on a plane”!

2- When she was 20 or 21, she and her husband drove from St Louis to Texas for him to report to the Army.  They stopped in Chickasha, Oklahoma at a pharmacy with a soda fountain.  Ilene ordered a chocolate sundae with chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce (she has always been a chocoholic).  The soda fountain “jerk” said, “Sorry, we only make those with vanilla ice cream”.  Ilene insisted on chocolate ice cream and when the owner came out, he repeated “Sorry, we only make those with vanilla ice cream”.  So Ilene and her husband walked out!!

3-When she was on a family trip with her children, she remembers fondly driving through Pennsylvania in the summer.  She thought it was such a beautiful green state.  Being a chocoholic, she vividly remembers being able to smell the chocolate when they were outside of Hershey, PA.  That is a great memory!

In summary, Ilene stated, “I have been very fortunate to do a lot of traveling over my lifetime.  It’s been wonderful to meet so many interesting and nice people”.